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Asian bourses rise as Wall Street hits record high

Wall Street hits

Nikkei 225 soared 2.3% to 28,580.78, Hang Seng added 0.5% to 27,482.85, Kospi added 1% to 3,247.13 and S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.7% to 7,326.30

Stock markets in Asia advanced Monday as Wall Street hit a high despite jitters about the spread of the coronavirus’s delta variant as investors looked ahead to U.S. earnings reports.

Benchmarks indices in Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney were higher.

On Friday, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index finished the week 0.4% higher.

Wall Street shrugged off ‘delta variant’ concerns, said Mizuho Bank in a report. Futures suggest that the optimism will spill over into Asia’s equity trading session.

The Shanghai Composite Index gained 1% to 3,558.13 after the Chinese central bank on Friday reduced the level of reserves commercial banks must hold, freeing up money for lending. That came after forecasters saw signs China’s economic rebound might be weakening.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo soared 2.3% to 28,580.78, while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.5% to 27,482.85. The Kospi in Seoul added 1% to 3,247.13 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained 0.7% to 7,326.30. Markets in New Zealand and Southeast Asia also gained.

On Friday, the S&P 500 index advanced 1.1% to a record 4,369.55, rebounding from the previous day’s loss.

Nearly 90% of the stocks in the S&P 500 closed higher, powered mostly by banks, technology companies and industrial stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) advanced 1.3% to a record 34,870.1. The Nasdaq composite gained 1% to 14,701.92.

Investors have swung between optimism about economic recovery and unease about the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

This week, U.S. banks are due to report earnings as major companies start announcing quarterly results. Analysts expect another strong quarter for Wall Street, due to the improving economy and fewer Americans defaulting on loans.

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